Tommy Thompson Takes Initiative To Create Positive Outcomes During COVID And MLS Season

Tommy Thompson | Midfielder | San Jose Earthquakes

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I’ve made a huge effort to learn Spanish over the last couple years. My Spanish has came a long way and its very rewarding to now be able to make some jokes in the locker room with guys that 3 years ago I would have never been able to speak with.

Tommy Thompson

Midfielder

San Jose Earthquakes

× The interview with Tommy Thompson was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

COVID has been difficult on the sports industry, especially in the professional ranks. What are some of the ways you and your team have stayed connected during this MLS season?

We have used Zoom and we started two different group texts in WhatsApp.

One with the entire coaching staff and the other with just the players.

It has been a great help thus far despite the limitations.

The pandemic can have an effect on professional athletes not just physically, but also mentally. What are some of the strategies you have used to stay on top of your physical fitness and mental strength this season?

I’ve done my best to focus on getting a little bit better every day.

In times of uncertainty, the most important thing to do is focus only on what you can control. I can control how I train physically and mentally so I concern myself with that.

I cannot control external factors so I do not worry myself with that.

With close to half of the San Jose Earthquakes roster being comprised of foreign players, they have been away from home since COVID started, which can be hard for professional athletes. What are some of the ways that you have made an effort to connect with them outside of the playing field?

I’ve made a huge effort to learn Spanish over the last couple years.

My Spanish has came a long way and its very rewarding to now be able to make some jokes in the locker room with guys that 3 years ago I would have never been able to speak with.

It brings everyone closer together and has been a great added skill of mine to learn. 

As a designated Home Grown player on the Earthquakes, you have had the opportunity to move to the MLS without going through the MLS SuperDraft. How important is this new rule for the development of local talent in the MLS like yourself and others who will follow suit?

Its very important!

Northern California has a ton of talented soccer players and the homegrown rule allows teams to take advantage of that and give young players time to develop and maximize their potential.

This ensures the best developmental practice for local players and I am glad to have benefited from it.

You gave an empowering speech before a game in 2019 about believing in your coach, team and organization. The Earthquakes turned it around after and went 11-3-5 to finish the season and after an eight game winless streak this year your team finished on a strong note with a playoff appearance. How did you see the team change in light of these adverse situations and what has inspired you to be a young leader of the future for this team?

The leadership starts with Matias and his coaching staff. They have an incredible ability to positively impact the locker room.

I recognized what they were doing and I wanted everyone to know that things were going to change.

This is the most incredible coaching staff I’ve ever worked with and I feel very fortunate to be able to go into 2021 with this group.

Matias Bueno Matias's Final Thoughts

It was a pleasure to have interviewed Tommy Thompson of the San Jose Earthquakes, who provided great insight on how to turn negative situations into a positive. Whether it is related to COVID or the results of the team, he has been a leader on and off the field for the franchise. He has provided a spark as an upcoming young talent has helped build on the culture that will lead San Jose to more success. Being able to navigate tough situations is an important part of being in the sports industry and Tommy has taken the lead on this in his own regard. 

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